Tuesday, October 13, 2009

workmen in the house

It's impossible to guess what workpeople make of one's house when doing repairs on it - when threading wires from top to bottom, for example. And do they speculate much about the lifestyle of the people who live in it? (beyond, in our case, asking Alice why we had so many books, and where my accent was from). I went into the bedroom this evening to discover that they'd moved the bed away from the wall, and rather than simply place the stuffed animals from the bedhead on top of the covers, I found the possum and the grey sheep handpuppet burrowing in a rather frightened way into the pillows. These are not animals with any long lasting sentimental significance - the sheep is only about a year old, from the farmer's market in Santa Fe - so I don't feel any sense of violation here - but it does make me wonder what, if anything, two Colombian electricians think of two women who go to bed with this particular assortment of wildlife.

I also have always liked rumpled beds in photographs, ever since seeing Imogen Cunningham's The Unmade Bed (the inspiration for a rather good Adrienne Rich poem, too). They always look as though they should have a narrative attached to them, even when there isn't one to hand.


  1. Would this be the appropriate moment to ask about the disturbingly lifelike squirrel that has been staring at Moose as she sleeps for the past almost four weeks? ;-)

  2. I'm almost certain I know exactly what workpeople are thinking when they enter my house, as they are immediately asked to remove their shoes, which often conflicts with some sort of company policy they must adhere to, and so my mother begins wrapping plastic bags around their feet, so as not to track dirt onto the floor. It's worth mentioning that she also covers the floor with her own tarps beforehand, so there's really no risk of dirtying the floor, but her OCD doesn't even begin to compare to the discussion of accents that usually follows this dirt-prevention procedure. It usually ends with my mother explaining her own place of origin: the planet Venus. I don't know that they care to take notice of her stuffed animals at that point.

  3. Have you seen Carlin's 'Lesbian Beds' piece? There was a wonderful presentation at the '07 MLA Convention by Dana Seitler (413.1), whose discussion of a "background that accentuates and develops into the foreground...[thereby evoking an] inscription...of representational history" made me think of Ron Athey's bridging the gap between artist and audience in his interactive nude exhibits. Seitler went on to discuss, among other things, Rauschenberg's painted 'bed' and the "textured, furrowed, and living structures of queer sexuality".

    ...seemed appropriate...


  4. Hmmmm - squirrels: now, that's another question.

    And sometimes I think that were I to meet Lauren's mother, she might well want to wrap ALL of me in clingfilm (probably a good idea - I do tend to make things untidy just by looking at them)...

    And as for "Lesbian Beds" - no! will hunt down! - and ditto all kinds of bed references - when this chairing business allows for a minute's procrastination...